Kansas Open Records Act
What is the Kansas Open Records Act?
The Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) grants you the right to inspect and obtain copies of public records created or maintained by public agencies in Kansas. The Open Records Act, K.S.A. 45-215 et seq., as amended, declares that it is the public policy of Kansas that "public records shall be open for inspection by any person. "Public records are defined as "any recorded information, regardless of form or characteristics, which is made, maintained or kept by or is in the possession of any public agency."
KSA 45-221(a)(10) allows discretionary closure of criminal investigative records if the release would "interfere with any prospective law enforcement action, criminal investigation or prosecution"
KSA 45-221(a)(30) allows discretionary closure of public records containing information of a personal nature where the public disclosure thereof would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
The following Police Department records are exceptions to KORA and are not available to the public:
- Criminal investigation records
- Criminal intelligence information
- Laboratory reports and files
- Information that would reveal the identity of any undercover agent or informant
- Records that would reveal the identity of the victim of any sexual offense
- Records protected by the attorney-client privilege
- Most personnel records
- Records closed by the rules of evidence
- Notes and preliminary drafts
- Medical records
- Records containing information of a personal nature
- Kansas Standard arrest reports (KSARs), Kansas standard offense reports (KSORs) - KSARs are not subject to disclosure and only the first page of a KSOR may be obtained
- 911 records or recordings - requires a court order
- Video including officer body camera and dash-camera video - requires a court order
Requesting a record
Requests may be required to be in writing. It is suggested that you first check to determine if the record you need exists or is available. The following information must be included in your request:
- Organization (if requesting on its behalf)
- Mailing address
- Email address
- Daytime telephone number
- A specific description of the records you are requesting. Make your request as specific as possible to expedite the process
- Preferred means of record production
Requests can be delivered in person or mailed to the Fredonia Police Department.
Copies of vehicle crash reports are normally available within 7-10 days after the report was taken. They can be obtained online at www.crashdocs.org, by using the same steps above for offense reports, or in person at the Fredonia Police Department.
Although every attempt will be made to provide the information requested, it is not always possible to fulfill the request. There are a number of reasons that a request may be denied:
- The specific record that was requested does not exist
- The request was unclear and should be resubmitted with more detail
- The record that was requested is closed to protect an important privacy interest. (See previously listed exceptions)
KORA authorizes agencies to charge fees for providing copies of public records. An estimate of required fees will be given for the retrieval, review, and production of requested records. Fee payment is required before records will be produced. Proof of identification may also be required. If the final cost is lower than the estimate, the requestor will be reimbursed for the difference. It is preferred that requests be picked up in person from the police department. If you are unable to pick up, requests can be mailed, emailed, or faxed. Fee for requests that can be provided in less than 30 minutes are:
- Kansas Standard Offense Reports and Vehicle Crash Reports
- $10.00 for up to 5 pages
- Vehicle Crash Photos (photos of fatality crashes requires a court order)
- Paper copies - $1.00 per page
- Digital - $10.00
- Additional Fees for requests more than 5 pages
- Page Copies - .25 cents per page
- Postal Mailing - .25 cents per 5-page increments
- Emailing/Faxing - .15 cents per 5-page increments
Additionally, if the time spent on research goes above 30 minutes, staff time will be charged at the rate of pay for each person(s) whose time is used in order to assist and/or respond to a specific request. This may include the time spent to access records maintained on computer facilities, review records to determine whether closure exceptions apply, and/or to redact open from closed information. For most requests, time will be charged as follows:
- Clerical time
- Hourly rate will be figured at the current personnel wage at the time of the request.
- Information Technology (IT) Services
- Fees will be figured at the current rate at the time of the request.
- Other classifications of employees
- To be charged based on actual costs
You will receive a response, within the third business day after the request was received, either granting your request, updating you on the status of your request, or explaining the cause of further delay.